SFFD - Fire Alarm and Signaling System Administrative Bulletin AB # 2.01 Update - Effective 8-17-2020. Sent by Sagiv Weiss-Ishai, P.E., Fire Protection Engineer with SFFD.
The SFFD would like to inform you about a recent update made on AB # 2.01 (2019- Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems Submittals --- Revised on 8-17-2020)
This revised AB # 2.01 is published on the SFFD Website on the following link (also please see attached PDF):
This update which is included in Item J (J.1-J.12) on pages 2&3 of AB # 2.01, includes specific SFFD guidelines and requirements for the placement of visual appliances (strobes) in various locations and areas within buildings as provided on Fire Alarm systems plans to be submitted for SFFD review and approval. The visual appliances specific coverage and spacing requirements shall meet NFPA 72-2016 (applicable FA & Signaling code in CA and SFFD)
The SFFD specific requirements are intended to supplement and clarify the following CFC-2019 Section 907.5.2.3.1 and create consistency between FA designers/applicants submitting plans in the SFFD jurisdiction.
Any Fire Alarm permit which is submitted after 8-17-2020 (effective date of the revised AB # 2.01) as indicated by the “RECEIVED” stamp date on the permit plans, shall comply with the specific requirements listed in this bulletin. (This requirement is based on the RECEIVED date only, regardless the applicable codes for the specific permit)
The SFFD is aware that other CA Fire jurisdiction may have different interpretations for visual appliances placements; however, FA plans submitted for SFFD review and approval must comply with the SFFD specific requirements specified in this AB # 2.01.
907.5.2.3.1 Public use areas and common use
areas. Visible alarm notification appliances shall be
provided in public use areas and common use areas
including but not limited to:
1. Band rooms.
6. Meeting rooms.
7. Multipurpose rooms.
8. Music practice rooms.
9. Occupational shops.
10. Occupied rooms where ambient noise
impairs hearing of the fire alarm.
11. Sanitary facilities including restrooms, bathrooms
and shower rooms.
Exception: Where employee work areas have
audible alarm coverage, the notification appliance
circuits serving the employee work areas
shall be initially designed with not less than 20-
percent spare capacity to account for the potential
of adding visible notification appliances in the
future to accommodate hearing-impaired
The SFFD revisions and specific requirements are:
J. Visual and/or Audible protection provided by Fire Alarm or Signaling System visual appliances (strobes) and/or audible appliances (speakers, horns, sounders etc.) shall comply with CFC Section 907.5.2.3 and NFPA 72 coverage and installation requirements, and with the following specific SFFD requirements:
(J.1) The Architect shall specifically label on the architectural permit plans each room/space/area, regardless its size, per its specific use/function, and with a specific indication stating if it is: “Public Use” - Normally occupied and used by member(s) of the general public (Ex.: Wellness/Mother’s room, Phone/Quiet room, Restrooms, Toilet rooms, Conference/Huddle/Meeting rooms with general public access, etc.)
“Common Use” - Normally occupied and used by more than one building employee. Typically, these are enclosed rooms shared by two or more employees and have more than one workstation/ computer, work desk, etc. or other shared function, (Ex.: Shared office room, Breakroom, Security room, Engineers room, Copy room, Conference/Huddle/Meeting rooms for building employees use only)
“Private Office” – Normally occupied and used by ONE building employee only for office work purposes (This could be a large Private Office with a large meeting/conference table and it is not considered as a Conference/Meeting room).
“Private Room/Space” – Normally occupied and used by ONE building employee only for other than office work purposes (Ex. Prayer room, Phone room, Focus/ Quiet room, etc.) The Fire Alarm contractor shall be required to submit reference approved architectural plans with the above room/spaces/areas labeling and designations, and shall design and submit visual appliances coverage on the fire alarm or signaling system permit plans per the specific requirements of this section.
(J.2) All “Public Use” rooms/areas/spaces, regardless their size and labeling, shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
(J.3) All “Common Use” rooms/areas/spaces, regardless their size and labeling, shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
(J.4) A “Private Office” shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) unless the employee occupying that office is deaf or hard-of-hearing (hearing-impaired). The building owner shall be responsible for providing visual appliance(s) as required. It shall be permitted to provide visual appliance(s) in Private Office(s) on a voluntary/ non-required basis at the owner’s request.
(J.5) All “Private Rooms/Spaces” shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) unless any employee who potentially could occupy that room/space is deaf or hard-of-hearing (hearing-impaired). The building owner shall be responsible for providing visual appliance(s) as required. It shall be permitted to provide visual appliance(s) in Private Rooms/Spaces on a voluntary/ non-required basis at the owner’s request
(J.6) All Medical Exam rooms in any building/occupancy shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
(J.7) All “NORMALLY NON-OCCUPIED” rooms/areas/spaces such as mechanical/electrical /IT/server/ /telephone rooms, janitor closet/rooms, elevator machine or control rooms, fire pump rooms, etc. shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s) – An audible alarm signal of minimum 15dBA above the ambient noise level, is required in these rooms/areas/spaces which shall be provided by audible appliances located inside or outside these rooms/areas/spaces. Where the ambient noise level is greater than 95 dBA, visual appliance(s) shall be provided in accordance with NFPA 72 and audible appliance(s) shall not be required.
(J.8) Private use storage room/space/ closet used by only one person/tenant/employee shall not be required to be provided with visual appliance(s)
(J.9) Common/Public use and Normally-Occupied storage rooms/areas/spaces shall be provided with visual appliance(s) in accordance with NFPA 72.
(J.10) A Fire Alarm or Signaling System Control Unit (FACU/ FCU/ MCU) located in an enclosed room/space shall be prohibited from having visual and/or audible notification appliance(s) in that room/space. If the Control Unit and/or its associated Remote Annunciator is located in an open space/area, the audible and visual appliance(s) at that space shall be located on the wall or ceiling in accordance with NFPA 72 and at least 10 feet away, measured horizontally from the center of the Control Unit or each Remote Annunciator. (If the 10 feet distance is not feasible – a closer distance may be approved on a case-by-case basis)
(J.11) A Fire Command Center (FCC) shall be prohibited from having visual and audible notification appliance(s).
(J.12) Enclosed interior or exterior stairways and exit passageways shall be prohibited from having visual and audible notification appliance(s). Exception: Speakers shall be permitted to be installed in enclosed stairways of high-rise buildings for manual paging only.
I BCC a few additional FA people on this email and I would highly appreciate if you would not e-mail me or call me back with questions regarding these updated requirements. (I am aware that you may not agree with them or you may have different interpretations, etc.)… I am bombarded with emails and phone calls these days and would highly appreciate your understanding.
However, if you have a specific project in SF that you would like to discuss with SFFD before you apply for a permit, you could request to have a pre-application meeting with SFFD (me) by filling out the attached request form and PDF it to Chris Roque (our admin person at email@example.com )with your request.
AB # 2.01 ERRCS update effective 8-17-2020
Effective 8-17-2020, The SFFD has published specific requirements for approved 2-HR Fire resistive Coax cables to be used in the SFFD jurisdiction for ERRC Systems (ERRCS).
You will need to scroll down to Page 20 of 28 - Addendum G and you will find the following specific SFFD requirements in Item F:
You must comply with ALL the applicable requirements above when you submit ERRCS permit plans with 2-HR Fire Resistive Coaxial Cable.
You should include a copy of these requirements on your ERRCS permit Plans and indicate how you comply with each specific applicable requirement (you could use a checklist format)
The other change is regarding ERRCS signage – See item Q on Page 22 of 28
It is important to note:
- These changes are effective on 8-17-2020 when the revised AB # 2.01 was published – Therefore the signage (per item Q) are not required for ERRCS permits submitted prior to 8-17-2020. Any ERRCS permit submitted after this date shall be required to have the signage. The ERRCS contractor shall be required to provide the signage and shall specify the signage locations on the ERRCS permit plans. The signage requirements specified in item Q shall be copied/scanned onto the ERRCS permit plans. If ERRCS plans are currently being submitted without including the required signage, the signage could be added on As-Built submittal or as approved by the Fire Inspector.
- The 2-HR Fire Resistive Coaxial Cable is NOT a Required Level 2 survivability pathway. It is only an Optional Level-2 survivability Pathway if it meets all the specific SFFD requirements listed in item F.
If you have a specific FA and/or ERRCS project in San Francisco that you would like to discuss and have the SFFD ruling/agreement in writing (in a form of SFFD approved and signed meeting minutes), you could request to have a Pre-Application meeting with SFFD by filling out the attached PDF pre-app meeting request form and email it to Chris Roque at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For other applicable 2019-SFFD Administrative Bulletins you could look here: